Citizen Journalism On The Rise

Citizen Journalism On The Rise

My name is Ahmed Shihab-Eldin. I’m Palestinian
by blood, American by birth, Kuwaiti by family refuge, Egyptian by upbringing, Austrian by
adolescence, and curious by nature. [MUSIC] I think anyone’s a reporter. [MUSIC] I think my upbringing and having lived, but
been from so many places, but also not been from any one place in particular definitely
influenced me in a very serious way. Borders and boundaries and divisions, all of that,
to me always seemed very counter-intuitive, almost unnatural. It’s definitely influenced
me by making me be more open and more curious and inquisitive. I think that might actually
be why I went into the field. [MUSIC] What is a netizen? I really, I mean, it’s
an interesting…it’s a very curious term, right, Because it’s basically a citizen of
the internet. The beautiful thing about the internet and for example, the effect it has
on the media is it really levels the playing field. Any kind of big media personality compared
to the blogger in say Morocco or Jordan, they’re both netizens and to me, you know, that’s
kind of a…that’s kind of a novel thing. I mean I think anyone’s a reporter. Anybody,
whether they’re citizen journalists, whatever you want to call them, they’re taking information
with their mobile phone. They’re filming in Syria, you know, or in Bahrain, you know,
tear gas or whatever it might be and they’re uploading it to the internet. They’re reporting
that, you know. We don’t want the news told to us, we want to be part of that process.
I think news consumers are becoming producers and it’s exciting. I mean it makes the job
for journalists that much harder because as a journalist now you have so many more sources.
I mean, the very notion of breaking news itself is broken and there’s nothing wrong in that
and if people are afraid of that in the business, I really think that just points to arrogance
or a fear of not having a job. People who are so quick to dismiss the multiplicity of
voices that social media, that the internet, that technology provides us with access, I
don’t think their hearts in the right place. There can be a symbiotic kind of relationship
between citizen journalists, activists, netizens, whatever you want to call them, people on
the ground, who understand the culture. They can fill that gap that a parachute journalist,
know you, someone who comes in only when the story is hot or trending or whatever, can’t
potentially add to the story. If you’re dedicated to really understanding the story and really
getting to the heart of it, you will find that there’s so much value to these conversations
and the information and photos and videos that are being shared amongst the people who
really care about the story because, after all, that’s their life. [MUSIC] I think a journalist’s role is to contextualize,
to report, to try and be factual, to use stories to illustrate the human condition. I also
would add to that, which many people would stop there, it’s to be progressive. Progressive
meaning to move society forward. That’s where I think transparency for me in journalism,
as a journalist, should be more important than objectivity because objectivity is a
fallacy. It’s unattainable. How many times you reference something in an article, where
you put it in the article, all those minor things let alone your culture, your religion,
your background, who you’re married to, what your sister’s niece does on the weekend that
you sometimes go and visit. I mean, you know, our lives are so multi-faceted that to presume
that professionally we can distance ourselves so much and provide an “objective” view is,
I think, not as important or as alluring to me as providing a view that is truthful and
the truth sadly is subjective. So it’s my truth, but it’s, you know, in good faith and
as long as you’re transparent and accountable in your intentions and your motivate is to
try and get at the truth, that to me is where journalism is headed. I’m Ahmed Shihab-Eldin and you’re watching


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    something makes me doubt his sincerity. Huff post would love it if we erased all borders and got rid of national Sovereignty…

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    ADL EJ

    i think he lost it in the last 40 seconds. the truth isn't subjective and he's apologetic and defensive to his bias by saying it's done in good faith. just report the news and WE'LL decide how to process it.

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    alan g

    Idk why everyone is hating on him. What I got from him is to empower yourself. Most of you commenting probably just watch videos or mainstream crap instead of doing your own part.

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    Graidon Mabson

    I think it's cause of that one line: The truth is subjective. I don't like that. The rest of it was great though, and I think that transparency hugely important. I just don't think that transparency and objectivity must be at odds with each other.

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    The reporting of events is a subjective process aspiring for objectivity. Objectivity – facts – is truth (factual state). If the subjective process of journalism to uncover the truth approaches objectivity, then, it is reasonable to claim that in the context of field journalism and the developing form of journalism (.net), that subjective reporting approaching objectivity will ultimately equal – or be similar to – objective truth; subjectivity is (approaching) truth, as conceived by Shihab-Eldin

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    Citizen Journalism is the real deal, the media is nothing but misleaders besides they are not for the people they are for the corporations, thats why they never get back to things that really is important for people so they can move forward and knows what really is going on. 
    Well said man, great vid, respect. that's what the people need the truth no matter what.

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    Scott Prombo

    Now if all of humanity was well-rounded and had good intentions like this guy, I'd be a bit more hopeful of everyone's future lol.

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    Follow Apollo

    Did he just say my truth!! This is why journalism is dying! We need objective coverage don't subjective opinions to push a "regressive" agenda… The left is killing journalism, Make Journalism real again!

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    Jeff Ali

    This is not a journalist. Accepting that you can never be 100% objective as a journalist is a sign of wisdom but to not actively strive for that as your goal is a clear case where that person doesn't know what it truly means to be a journalist. A true journalist tells it like it is, the good, the bad, the ugly, and presents the facts in the least biased manner possible. He is a commentator, and opinion communicator, and he should acknowledge that fact and embrace it not try to present himself as a journalist.

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    CNN if you will not stand up for Marc Lamont Hill as you did Jim Acosta,
    then never complain about FOX NEWS because it makes both of your
    organizations the Same paid and bought for. The idea to put Marc Lamont
    Hill in the same category as Louis Farrakhan is proof that CNN has no
    ethical concept of true Journalism. Attention to every single reporter
    who works on CNN if you don't stand for the concept of true Journalism,
    If you don't stand against the firing of Mr. Hill then I know for a fact
    it's about you not informing me about the world around me.

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